QUEEN’S PARK - Kristyn Wong-Tam, NDP MPP (Toronto Centre) and Opposition Critic on 2SLGBTQI+ Issues made the following statement for Pride Month:
Pride Month begins today and as we gather across Ontario in recognition of 2SLGBTQI equality, I wish to extend a Happy Pride to all.
Pride month is known as a time for celebration, but it’s also an opportunity to remember the activist origins of Pride and why we take time every year to acknowledge those who have come before us in advancing 2SLGBTQI+ human rights.
But this year is different. We have seen escalating hate and vitriol being directed at the Queer community, especially at Trans people and drag artists. Our community has always had to fight for our rights to be recognized, but right now the political climate feels much more fraught and fearful. Right-wing extremists, many of whom spout white-supremicist and fascist ideas along with their homophobia and transphobia, are showing up at schools, libraries, restaurants and places of worship.
Pride celebrations across Ontario are seeing costs for security and insurance go up as they receive threats. Publicly funded school boards are voting against flying the rainbow flag. Cities and rural counties are voting against acknowledging Pride at all. Visibly Queer and Trans people are receiving threats at levels not seen in decades. It feels like we are going backwards after so much progress.
This Pride month will still be joyful since we need joy now more than ever. Let our allies rise to join us in the fight for human rights and dignity for all. Let us stay united against hate and bigotry. Let us be courageous in our advocacy to ensure 2SLGBTQI+ Canadians can live free from hate and discrimination.
The Ontario NDP know that the Conservative government can do even more to help, such as expand funding for 2SLGBTQI+ community organizations to keep communities safe and commit to providing support and care for all, no matter where you live.
The Ontario NDP will keep fighting for 2SLGBTQI+ communities, this month and beyond.